A Photo Walk in the Snow with Portra 160 Ektar and Ilford FP4 Fuji GS645S Llyn Ogwen

A Photo Walk in the Snow with Portra 160 Ektar and Ilford FP4 Fuji GS645S Llyn Ogwen

I know, three films on one walk sounds a bit much! But we rarely see snow in North Wales, despite the area being known in English as Snowdonia and I did throw two of them through the Fuji GS645W as test rolls. I’ll omit the very first shot, where I forgot to focus with the rangefinder, but to my credit I did remember to remove the lens cap! #onlyrangefinderproblems

I wanted to make the most of the snow, as well as giving my new Fuji GS645S WIDE 60 a good test in the field, which on this instance included burning a roll of Portra 160 and FP4 through it. I also needed to finish off the Ektar 100 in my Canon EOS300v with the the Canon 24-105mm L lens (the original version). You might also spot the ‘Action Man’ camera in my pack below. He was along for moral support only on this occasion!

It’s a different story to going out with a tripod, just to take the landscape shot, and most of what I need to take is either on the move or has to be quite quickly. 

How did the Portra 160 cope with the snow?

The Portra 160 made an excellent test roll for my Fuji GW645S WIDE mainly as I seem to have a glut of this stuff and it’s meant to have some decent latitude. I know I’m a bit rusty when it comes so shooting anything in snow, and i usually forget rules of thumb in the field (I mean do I under or overexpose for snow?* If in doubt, shoot and hope for the best!).

I think the conditions were quite tough, in that the summit and the clouds were merging into one. Yet the boundary between the two is still perfectly clear. I’m not sure If I prefer the other shots with the summit of Y Garn clear of the cloud, I like them both. The cloud coming in on this shot was a snow storm and you can see how we were caught up in it on the Ilford FP4 below.

What about the FP4 and the snow

There’s nothing like changing film rolls on a new camera as the snow storm rushes in, hands cold and trying not to get the inside of he camera wet. It certainly focuses the mind, even if the GW645S is rather difficult to focus. 

I burned the full roll on the final section of the walk, and recall the lens was a bit foggy and had a high number of ‘off’ shots with this roll. It was probably a combination of sloppiness on my part, being in a rush to get back to the car and the conditions misting the lens up. though mostly the first one.

Tryfan is an iconic mountain, photogenic from most angles. I think it renders particularly well in monochrome in the snow, and I hope to get back up here in the snow again later in the year. I can come here whenever I want, but the snow is becoming more elusive year on year. I’m hoping to post some taken on some vintage cameras on plus-x recently – Minolta 24 Rapid and a Konica SII-  as soon as I get round to processing them! Home processing BW film is so easy, but you still have to find the time to do so.

And finally, the Ektar in 35mm in Snow

I also had to finish off some Ektar 100 in an EOS300v with 24-105mm L Lens just to mix things up! I didn’t make things easy and I did, admittedly, shoot into the sun a few times. It’s a bad habit, but sometimes you get a good shot. Not sure if this was one of those times, but the results are pleasant enough.

I liked them enough to throw some Ektar 100 into the Fuji GW645S for my next snowy walk – I’ll post that soon (as well as one with some Fuji 160/400 – there’s a definite contrast in the results, but I’d say it was largely due to the underlying lighting of the day more than anything – but that’s to follow).

*it’s overexpose – as the bright conditions can confuse the lightmeter.

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